Favorite Hot Cartel Tops John Deere California Juvenile Challenge Qualifiers

The California-bred gelding breaks his maiden in the second of four trials on Saturday.

Q-Racing Journal

Fastest qualifier Favorite Hot Cartel (number 7) won the second of four John Deere California Juvenile Challenge trials on Saturday. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Alvaro Lua’s Favorite Hot Cartel is the fastest qualifier to the August 19, $30,000-added John Deere California Juvenile Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos.

Racing in the second of four 350-yard trials on Saturday, Favorite Hot Cartel defeated second-fastest qualifier Missmerizing by a head in :17.897 while scoring his first win in four outs. Oscar Peinado rode the California-bred son of Favorite Cartel for trainer Ramiro Zuazo.

Favorite Hot Cartel was bred Isla Vista Ranch SS Inc. and was making his debut from the Zuazo barn.

“This horse has a bright future,” Zuazo said. “We hope that he continues to run like he did tonight. He doesn’t have a lot of starts under his belt, (but) this was a solid win for him and I feel that he’s a powerful horse with the ability to finish strong. He’s in good condition and has a lot of class.”

Other prominent finalists include Reliance Ranches LLC's Sc Vapor Trail, the third-fastest qualifier. Ridden by Jesus Ayala for trainer Mike Robbins, the homebred daughter of Corona Cartel and champion Spit Curl Diva won the first heat by three-quarters of a length in :17.968.

Sc Vapor Trail was coming off of a sixth-place finish in the June 18, 350-yard Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1).

“She ran a really good race in the Ed Burke,” Robbins said. “She just got outrun. She’s not quite that caliber of horse just yet, but I hope she will be later in the year. This was a really good race for her tonight.”

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.